Nick Kyrgios defends Novak Djokovic as Serb accused of ‘mocking’ Ben Shelton

Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Ben Shelton’s dad for being upset over Novak Djokovic copying the American’s telephone celebration after their US Open semi-final contest. Shelton enjoyed a dream run to the final four of his home slam and caught the attention of many with his trademark phone celebration.

Shelton celebrated his win over countryman Frances Tiafoe with a telephone gesture and pretending to hang it up. Djokovic clearly loved it too as the world No 1 imitated the celebration after beating Shelton in their semi-final clash.

The Serbian tennis star held his hand up to his ear before hanging it up in the exact same fashion as Shelton had done in his victories. Shelton didn’t appear too upset about Djokovic stealing his celebration, insisting after the match “that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

But the American youngster’s dad didn’t share his son’s feelings on Djokovic’s decision. Bryan Shelton told GQ Sports: “He wants to be loved so much, Novak. He wanted to mock Ben at the end. It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben.

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“It was to mock him. And that’s too bad, for that to come from such a great champion.” However, Kyrgios has stuck up for Djokovic by hitting out at Shelton’s father on social media.


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“MORE PEOPLE SPOKE ABOUT THE CELEBRATION THAN [ed] THE MATCH.” Shelton moved up to a career-high of No 19 in the world after reaching the semi-finals of the US Open.

He’s set to make his debut in the Laver Cup for Team World next week alongside compatriots Christopher Eubanks, Tommy Paul, Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz. Team Europe will be without any of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal for the first time since the event was created.

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